The NRA shoots logic

What we need: Laws that prohibit or restrict assault weapons, handguns and high-capacity magazines.

Canada, a gun-loving country, has gun control a lot like this. Citizens are allowed to own all the rifles and shotguns that they want. This just in: The universe has not imploded in Canada. You’ll no doubt be amazed to know they have lower rates of gun violence and murders than the United States.

Today I attempt a short bit of logic to rebut the nonsensical sound bites offered ad nauseam by the NRA.

The Second Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
–The version ratified by the U.S. Congress

Yes, there was more than one version. In addition to the one above there was a version ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State. Capitalization and a comma differed between the two versions. (Source: Wikipedia.)

I have two points to make. Since I’ve talked about this before, I’ll be brief and do it using less than 600 words.

First, the Second Amendment is no more special than any of the others. Amendments, like people, are created equal. There isn’t, for example, anything in the Constitution or our laws that states, “The Second Amendment is the most important one and supersedes other stuff.” Doesn’t exist. And there are limits placed on a lot of other amendments. There are many limits on free speech. And the Supreme Court has decided cases involving other amendments and cited the “greater good” when weakening protections in those amendments. An example of this is sobriety checkpoints in regards to our rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

Conclusion: Some restrictions of the Second Amendment are permissible and consistent with the way we do things in this country.

Second, by definition, restrictions on the Second Amendment are already recognized as a matter of routine law.

I looked up the word “arms” in the dictionary:

arms: weapons and ammunition; armaments
–New Oxford American Dictionary

That’s a very broad definition. The amendment does not, for example, attempt to limit it’s protections to “firearms” or “guns.” As written, those things are just parts of a greater classification known as weapons.

Thus, we legally recognize that citizens do not normally have the right to possess other kinds of arms, like nuclear weapons. Or certain kinds of knives. Or explosives. Or homemade pipe bombs.

Why can’t I walk around town with a couple pipe bombs open-carried on my hip? “Did ya just call me yella, padner? BOOM.”

Using a standard of reasonableness our society has recognized the right to carry nuclear weapons, certain kinds of knives, explosives and pipe bombs should be prohibited. Further, even certain kinds of firearms are restricted, such as those that are fully-automatic.

Since this is all well established, the argument must shift from “the Second Amendment must not be subject to limitations of any kind” to “where will the regulation take place.”

The question is: Where should limits be placed? The argument about if there should be limits has already been long ago decided.

To answer that question, I think we should look to examples like Canada and set standards tighter than they are now. Prohibit or restrict assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and handguns. Require all weapons to be registered and all purchases subject to background checks. And require licensing, training and proficiency standards just like we do for the ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Call it common sense in the name of the greater good.

13 responses

  1. It is certainly one of the most important reasons I love living in Canada.

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    1. Oh, Canada! πŸ™‚

      The odds of living longer must be intoxicating.

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      1. I drink them in every day. πŸ™‚

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  2. This part: “Require all weapons to be registered and all purchases subject to background checks. And require licensing, training and proficiency standards just like we do for the ability to operate a motor vehicle.” I’m TOTALLY in agreement with.

    We have to take a test to drive a car, we have tests to operate fricken scuba gear, but anyone can have a gun without any training at all. WTF? The amazing thing isn’t the occasional insane slaughter fests we have – it’s the number of accidental shootings we have all the time! I mean, “I didn’t know it was loaded,” is NOT a valid excuse for anything. You shouldn’t even be able to pickup a firearm without a license that requires training that would HOPEFULLY prevent you from being a moron. And one of the standard rules should always be – never give your weapon to anyone unless you check their gun license first. I could make a fricken list. For example, don’t check to see if your safety is on by pulling the trigger. Yes, guns will fire underwater, you don’t need to test it. You don’t need to test your gun to see if it can shoot through your car. Don’t fire at point blank range at anything unless you like eating lead and/or shrapnel. Etc… Etc…

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    1. I love this comment. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. […] The NRA shoots logic (shoutsfromtheabyss.wordpress.com) […]

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  4. Sadly, logic has very little to do with this debate.
    At least, not as far as the loudest voices are concerned…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We need a lot more logic in our public discourse, whatever the topic. If we did perhaps we’d make better decisions. And they don’t really offer courses in logic and critical thinking in school, do they? Perhaps they should.

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  5. Reblogged this on Shouts from the Abyss and commented:

    Another day, another NRA.

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  6. NotAPunkRocker | Reply

    Well stated.

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    1. Thanks! πŸ™‚

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  7. Snoring Dog Studio | Reply

    The NRA has an obscene amount of influence over our politicians. And curses on our forefathers for the vagueness of that Amendment. Nonetheless… people who are members of the NRA, lots of conservatives and libertarians will interpret it to their own benefit. The problem, the disgusting truth, is that the NRA will allow NO restrictions on gun ownership and sale. Someday soon, I hope, we’ll have a Supreme Court not filled with stooges of the extreme right and libertarian viewpoints. I don’t know how many more campus, mall, and school shootings we need before we do what’s right. It is obscene.

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    1. I read something interesting recently about how the intent of the Second Amendment was a distaste for standing armies, hence the militia. (I’m explaining it badly.) Fast forward and what we have today seems to be exactly what they worried about: An immense military industrial complex (although they didn’t know that term) and a populace awash in firearms.

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